About 52% of the rejections have been as a result of voters had missed requesting absentee ballots earlier than the cutoff, 11 days earlier than the election, in accordance to elections information analyzed by NCS.

In March, Georgia’s Republican-controlled state legislature handed SB 202, an election legislation aimed toward overhauling Georgia’s election code, together with limiting absentee voting — a technique that 1.3 million of the state’s residents had used to vote within the November 2020 common election.

Under the brand new legislation, voters have to request absentee ballots 11 days earlier than an election, a big change from 4 days earlier than Election Day.

Richard Barron, Fulton County’s director of registration and elections, informed NCS that the county “saw a significant number of absentee ballot applications rejected because of SB 202.”

“This just goes to show that from eliminating our mobile voting units to slashing our ability to use drop boxes to cutting back the time voters have to request an absentee ballot, SB202 is a poorly created and damaging law,” Barron mentioned in an emailed assertion.

Supporters of the brand new deadline embrace some voting advocates, who say it’s extra affordable and ensures voters have sufficient time to apply for and full their ballots.

“Four days is a really short period for a board of elections to receive a ballot application, process it, send it out, have it arrive at voters and be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day. That time frame is just too short,” Susannah Scott, president of the League of Women Voters of Georgia, informed NCS in a cellphone interview on Tuesday.

However, Scott mentioned the brand new deadline is simply too lengthy and the earlier was too brief, calling as an alternative for a “happy medium” in between. Local election directors have steered seven days as one of the best time-frame for assembly voters’ wants and guaranteeing absentee ballots are counted.

“Far too many voters end up being disenfranchised,” Sara Tindall Ghazal, the Democratic Party of Georgia’s member on the State Election Board, informed the Atlanta newspaper. “It leads to many voters getting their applications rejected and not able to access their ballot otherwise.”

Overall, election officers rejected about 4% of all absentee ballot requests for the November 2 municipal elections, in accordance to an evaluation of state election information performed by NCS. Of the 35,312 requests for absentee ballots, 1,362 have been rejected, with 708 of these reported as arriving previous the deadline. The rejection fee is up from lower than 1% in final yr’s common election, in accordance to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s evaluation.

Georgia is one of 19 states which have enacted new voting restrictions this year, in accordance to the Brennan Center for Justice — amid a drive by Republican-controlled legislatures to tighten election guidelines.